The Anchoress writes in Not believing is even worse of her conversation with a Muslim cab driver in Brooklyn:
“God is merciful,” he said. “Many people, all kinds of people, try to live in this way. My people, some Christian people, some Jewish people, they all try, but it is not always easy, as some think it is.”
“No, but we try.” I mused. “We people of faith all try to live it, and we all believe, and yet we have no peace between us.”
He shrugged. I got the impression that this was a conversation neither of us would be having, if one of us did not have our back to the other. “Faith is good,” he mused. “But peace…is difficult. We all believe different things.”
Ah, the eternal struggle – the mobius upon which we all ride and cannot escape. Why can’t believers simply allow other believers their beliefs? Because they believe.
I teased the driver, “maybe, then, we believers should just stop believing, and that would solve everything.”
“No, no,” he answered very seriously. “Not believing is even worse.”
Alisyn Camerota wrote of a conversation with an Iraqi Colonel over dinner at his home in Baghdad:
“One day, while he and his oldest son (His four sons were named after the followers of the Prophet Mohammed.) worked his shop, three armed men came in and kidnapped them. For three days COL M. was beaten and tortured and when he wasn’t being tortured, he listened to the screams of his teenage son in the next room receiving the same treatment.
I told him I was sorry for the loss of his family members and hoped that this was not the future of Iraq. I said good night and left. As we walked to the Humvee, I felt a little uneasy about showing him my family pictures. Had I made that cultural flaw that would ruin our relationship? In the back ground, an Iraqi Jundi called to us. My interpreter ran back inside the building. When he returned, he handed me a plastic bag with some photographs, “the Colonel wants you to see these and bring them back tomorrow.”
We drove the bumpy ride home and by midnight I was looking at my secret plastic bag with the white label in English on the outside. It was about a dozen photographs of him and his son whipped across their backs, arms, legs and heads; facial expressions of broken men. His wounds had the consistency of being whipped by a piece of cane, the skin exploding with each strike swelling from the inside as the blood rushed to the surface. COL Ms upper left arm severely bruised and bloodied from different techniques of punching, pulling, twisting and whipping. The left side of his back split open and bruised as well from three days worth of continued beatings. He and his son tortured over a name and religion, beaten because his son was named after the follower of a Prophet.”
We all suffer for believing; not believing is even worse. Our coming together will be a work of God, Who hears the prayers of all who believe. Those who don’t believe do not escape suffering, but here there is no prayer.
Monsignor Raun, this morning:
We say, “We’ll believe it when we see it.” God says, “You’ll see it when you believe it!” He was speaking of conversions. The God who turned Saul into Paul is still in the business.